Las Vegas gunman's girlfriend says Stephen Paddock was a 'quiet, kind man', as sheriff says it's 'hard to believe' he planned attack alone

Nick Allen
Marilou Danley, left, during a trip to the Philippines in 2013 with Stephen Paddock, far right, the gunman responsible for 58 deaths in Las Vegas - Facebook

The girlfriend of the Las Vegas mass murderer has described him as a "kind, caring, quiet man" as police poured over the gunman's "secret life".

Marilou Danley was interviewed by FBI agents on Wednesday in a bid to discover the motive of Stephen Paddock, who is said to have spent decades acquiring weapons. 

There was no evidence at this point to indicate that the mass shooting was terrorism, FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse told a news conference, adding no one had been taken into custody as a suspected accomplice.

Ms Danley said in a statement that she had no clue he was planning the massacre that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured in America's worst ever mass shooting.

Air Force One departs Las Vegas past the broken windows on the Mandalay Bay hotel, where shooter Stephen Paddock conducted his mass shooting along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas Credit: Reuters

"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him.

"He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen."

Ms Danley said in the statement that Paddock had told her two weeks ago that he had found a cheap plane ticket for her to visit family in the Philippines.

"Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there, he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family."

Still claiming to show Marilou Danley, girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Credit: NBC News

She said she became concerned at that point, thinking he wanted to break up with her.

"It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."

She added that she was praying for the victims of the massacre.

"I am a mother and grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones," she said.

Stephen Paddock with Marilou Danley

More details emerged on Wednesday showing the extent to which the attack was meticulously planned. 

Paddock had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and several containers of an explosive commonly used in target shooting that totalled 50 pounds in his car, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. But the sheriff said he didn't know what, if anything, Paddock planned with the explosives.

The shooter also sprayed 200 rounds of gunfire into the hallway when an unarmed security guard, identified as Jesus Campos, approached his hotel room. 

The security guard, who was hit in the leg, then helped a group of police officers clear out rooms on the 32nd floor of the hotel, before they finally got to Paddock.

Lombardo said Paddock planned to survive and escape from the hotel, but he didn't say how.

"We have produced a profile of someone who is disturbed and dangerous," Lombardo said.

Lombardo told reporters he found it hard to believe that the arsenal of weapons, ammunition and explosives recovered by police in their investigation could have been assembled by Paddock completely on his own.

"You have to make an assumption that he had some help at some point," Lombardo said, adding that the attack was the obvious outcome of meticulous planning.

"What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood," the sheriff said.

Las Vegas shooting | Timeline of attack

The 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and real estate investor specifically requested an upper-floor room with a view of the music festival when he checked in last Thursday, according to a person who has seen hotel records turned over to investigators but wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Authorities have said he brought 23 weapons in 10 suitcases into the room and set up cameras inside and out to watch for police closing in on him. But Lombardo said on Wednesday that none of the cameras was recording.

Speaking to first responders in the city, Donald Trump said the killer must have had his "wires screwed up".

The president, who made a private visit to a hospital with his wife, Melania, said investigators were “learning a lot more” about Paddock.

Flanked by doctors at the hospital Mr Trump said he had met “terribly wounded” patients who were “some of the most amazing people” and had shown “tremendous bravery”.

Mr Trump said he had invited them to the White House. He said: “The only message is we’re with you 100 per cent. Believe me, I’ll be there for them. We have a great country and we are there for you.”

He added: “It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally.”

During his visit Mr Trump deflected a question about whether the US has a problem with gun violence. "We're not going to talk about that today," he said.

Mr Trump’s motorcade passed close to the Mandalay Bay Hotel where Paddock, 64, launched his devastating attack on Sunday night.

Ms Danley, 62, arrived at Los Angeles airport on Wednesday morning on a flight from the Philippines.

She was pushed through the airport in a wheelchair by FBI agents who took her to their field office for questioning.

Reynaldo Bustos, her brother, told ABC News that he spoke to his sister following the shooting.

"I called her up immediately and she said, ’Relax, we shouldn’t worry about it. I’ll fix it. Do not panic. I have a clean conscience,’" Bustos told ABC News in the Philippines.

Ms Danley is an Australian citizen and her sisters there said they believed she was “sent away” by Paddock to the Philippines a week before the shooting. 

It also emerged that Paddock may have intended to target a bigger Las Vegas outdoor music festival the previous weekend. He tried unsuccessfully to book a room overlooking the Life is Beautiful event where performers included Damon Albarn’s band Gorillaz. That festival was attended by 50,000 people each day.

There were unconfirmed reports a receipt for Paddock’s last room service meal at the Mandalay Bay showed there may have been an additional person in his room, and it was also disclosed that Paddock had been taking the anti-anxiety drug Valium. Paddock was prescribed 50 tablets on June 21. 

Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director, said he was surprised at the lack of an apparent motive. He said: “This individual and this attack didn’t leave the sort of immediately accessible thumbprints that you find on some mass casualty attacks.” 

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes